Saturday, May 21, 2011
After receiving the email announcing the Appalachian Brewing Company Black IPA, a limited one-off, I stopped in to give it a try. The beer pours a dark brown color with a foamy beige colored head. The aroma consists of lemon, chocolate, sugar candy, pine, spruce, and toast. The taste is smooth and very chocolaty, more so than expecting, with accents of caramel and grapefruit. Some lemon and pine bitterness come out in the finish and really dry out the mouth, and toasted malts linger in the after taste. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. There was much more chocolate (think chocolate stout) in this beer than expected, but is fairly delicious and still drinks like a standard Black IPA.
I picked up bottle of Goose Island Demolition in San Diego and shipped it home to myself to review. The beer pours a yellow-gold color with a frothy white head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of candied lemon, sugar, wheat grass, and weeds. The taste is soft and smooth with a sweet lemon candy flavor, wheat grass, and a light pepper bite. The finish is sweet but slightly dry with a Belgian yeast. The alcohol content is 7.2% ABV. Interesting fact that I read on the bottle was that this beer is best within 180 days of bottling, and this bottle was bottled on 9/21/10 and consumed on 5/11/11. However, I thought it was very well balanced with no flavors overpower the others. I would be very interested in trying a fresh bottle to discern any differences in flavors.
Friday, May 20, 2011
As part of a beer trade with my friend Tim, I was given a bottle of Goose Island Big John. The beer pours a a black color with a frothy tan head that dissipates rather rapidly. The aroma consists of fresh sweet chocolate, toasted malts, vanilla, milk, and cocoa powder. The taste smooth and rounded with a pleasant mix of sweet milk chocolate and bitter dark chocolate. The dark chocolate comes out in the finish with a sharp bite of carbonation and alcohol, and the after taste sweetens with the taste of vanilla. The alcohol content is 11.5% ABV. The complexity, yet smoothness, of this beer and is striking. It is smooth and milky, yet toasted and bitey with alcohol. I was quite impressed with this beer, and it will be interesting to see if this beer remains after John urinated on that bar in Chicago.
I bought a bottle of New Belgium Lips of Faith La Folie while in San Diego and shipped it home to myself to review. The beer pours a brown color with a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of lots of vinegar and cherries up front and with a sweet malt base. The taste is smooth and sweet at first with malts before vinegar and sour cherry and raspberry kick in and cause the mouth to pucker. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. The tartness of this beer is wonderful and plays very well with the sweet malts of the brown ale base. The malts don’t hang around very long on the tongue, so this beer is all about the sourness, but it is also well grounded.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I made a trip to the Spring House Tap Room to pick up a growler of Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout. This beer was served on nitro, so I drank it the same evening that I bought it. The beer pours a black color with a foamy tan head. The aroma consists of lots of chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, sugar, and smells similar to the chocolate covered peanut butter wafers that I used to eat in high school. The taste is smooth and milky with plenty of chocolate as expected. There is a good peanut butter undertone to comes to life and the front of the beer as it warms. There is a dry finish with dark chocolate. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. While this beer started out as a good beer, it turned to an excellent beer as it warmed, so I would definitely recommend that you let it warm if you get your hands on a glass or growler.
While at Iron Hill in Lancaster for lunch, I picked up a bottle of Iron Hill Big Rye Wibby. The beer pours an amber color with a foamy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, rye, lemon, and grapefruit. The taste is grapefruit, caramel, and rye. It has a dry and bitter finish with pine hops. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. The Big Rye Wibby has a wonderful blend of flavors and lots of lacing appears on the glass as you drink, which was very attractive to look at as the beer disappeared.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I made yet another trip to Iron Hill in Lancaster, this time for lunch, and I ordered a glass of the Samurai Saison. The beer pours a bright golden color with a thin bubbly white head. The aroma is big and bold with plenty of lemon and sweet Belgian yeast. The taste is light bodied on the tongue due to carbonation with a slight lemon tartness on a good Belgian yeast base. Wheat, peppercorn, and earthy hops finish out the flavor of the beer. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. The earthy hops are what completely cold me on the beer, as they tied the tartness together with the sweetness. The peppercorn spice also added a nice touch, causing a slight pinch in the back of the throat.
At Al’s of Hampden, I ordered a glass of Founders Red’s Rye. The beer pours an amber color with a foamy off-white head. The aroma consists of caramel with lemon and rye hints. The taste is sweet at first before some dryness settles in; caramel up front then bitter lemon and rye. There is a dry after taste due to the rye content, and the toasted caramel lingers on the tongue. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. Plenty of caramel comes along for the ride with this beer, but it is balanced well with the bitterness of the rye and great lemon accents.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
While in Lancaster, I picked up a growler of Spring House Atomic Raygun Imperial Red from the Tap Room. The beer pours a dark amber color with a frothy tan head. The aroma consists of caramel and sweet malts with a pine hop accent. The taste is smooth and sweet with lots of caramel, pine, lemon, and oak accents. The finish is dry with hops and quite delicious. The alcohol content is 8.3% ABV. This was a well crafted red beer with a generous helping of caramel, but accented nicely with pine and lemon.
While at the Lost Abbey brewery, I picked up a bottle Framboise de Amorosa and shipped it home to myself to review it. The beer pours a dark amber color with red hues and a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of vinegar, raspberry, cherry, and Belgian yeast. The taste is strong and puckering with lots of vinegar, raspberry, cherry, and Belgian yeast. The finish brings out some oak and is somewhat dry, leaving vinegar behind on the tongue. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. This is a wonderfully crafted beer with a great pucker packed in to it, and the raspberry accents really make the flavor experience excellent.
Monday, May 16, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Alaskan Barley Wine in California and shipped it home to myself to review. The beer pours a dark amber color with a thin frothy tan head. The aroma is strong and consists of raisin, fig, lots of molasses, malts, and caramel. The taste is smooth at first before a strong sweet bite on the sides of the mouth. There are flavors of raisin, molasses, fig, sweet malts, tea, and caramel. There is a dry, weedy hop flavor that comes out on the finish. The after taste leaves some tea and caramel on the tongue. The alcohol content is 10.7% ABV. This is up there with one of the better Barley Wines I have had, save for Flying Mouflan. It’s not quite as hoppy as Flying Mouflan, but it is still well balanced and nicely spiced.
An email arrived in my inbox for a one-off creation of a Green Tea Pilsner at Appalachian Brewing Company, so I stopped in to the Harrisburg location to give it a try. The beer pours a translucent straw yellow color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of wheat, pepper, and green tea. The taste is light and mostly comprised of wheat with some green tea sweetness, pepper, and lemon. It has a dry and spicy finish that is rather enjoyable. The alcohol content is 6.35% ABV. Overall, this a decent and different beer that is both refreshing and flavorful, but not too heavy for those summer months that are approaching.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Alaskan Amber in California and shipped it home to myself. The beer pours a a red tinted amber color with a foamy off-white colored head that leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of lots of caramel, toasted toffee, butterscotch, and fresh grassy hops. The taste is smooth and sweet with plenty of caramel on the front end, toffee, and butterscotch. The malts then transform into a dryer grassy hop with a light finish. The alcohol content is 5.3% ABV. This is a quality made amber ale and the variety of sweet malts was quite enjoyable, especially with the butterscotch accents. I highly recommend this beer for all of you amber lovers.
While at Iron Hill in Lancaster, I ordered a glass of the Birra Malefico (translation: The Evil Beer). The beer pours a dark brown color with a foamy tan head. The aroma consists of toasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. The taste is full of toasted chocolate rather than just a toasted flavor, caramel, vanilla, and molasses. The alcohol content is not available online, but I would estimate it to be around 7.0% ABV. The Birra Malefico is a smooth and sweet beer yet the toasted flavors balance everything, especially since it is a toasted chocolate flavor.